Tossed by the Wind?
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” -James 1:5-8
Have you ever felt “driven and tossed by the wind” as James describes here? We probably don’t like to admit it when we read this description because we don’t want to admit our shortcomings. I don’t know about you, but I’m more inclined to blame my circumstances or question God when I feel “driven and tossed by the wind”, rather than acknowledge that it is my own doubt that causes that feeling. James describes a person who doubts as “a double minded man, unstable in all he does”. Yikes, that seems harsh! However, when I stop to think about it, I’m convicted of the truth of this statement. If I believe that God is sovereign (and He is), there is no room for me to doubt His promises. If He says that He will give me wisdom when I ask, I must choose to believe that.
Unfortunately, we are all imperfect people, so we will have moments of doubt in our lives. When those feelings arise, we must confess them to God and ask His Holy Spirit to strengthen our faith. As we read in the preceding verses in James 1, God uses trials to test and strengthen our faith. James writes, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (v. 2-4). So, we should be thankful about the trials in our lives? Yep!
This seems so upside-down to us, doesn’t it? Being joyful about trials does not come naturally to us, but if we allow our trials to produce steadfastness (or “the quality of being resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering”), we will no longer be unstable. To do this, we must keep our minds focused on the character of God. We need to remember that He is in control of every little detail on this earth. We need to remember that He is good, and if He is good and in control, then we can trust that whatever is happening is ultimately for our good-- whether in this life or in eternity. So, will you choose to be “driven and tossed by the wind” or will you be “resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering”? I know which sounds better to me!